Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

be awakened in the early dawn by the beautiful cadence
of this call to prayer,
The Breach with the Jews.—In spite of the welcome
given to the Prophet and the support of his kinsmen,
he encountered not only local jealousies but the hostility
of the three tribes of Jews towards the new religion,
In token of his breach with these, he suddenly directed
the faithful to follow his example and pray towards
Mecca. This reversal of custom was upon the whole
a politic stroke ; for, although it laid Mohamed open to
a charge of inconsistency, it must have gratified the people
of Arabia by preserving to Mecca its pre-eminence in the
ceremonial of the new faith.
The Battle of Badr> A.H. 2 (623), and the Expulsion of
the Beni Kainucas.—For some six months after their arrival
at Medina the Muhajarin, or "Refugees," were busily
occupied in settling down, and in sending for their
families, whom the Kurdish' aHowed to depart, although
they might well have1 kept them as hostages. Attacks
were then made on the Mecca ^caravans trading with
Syria, but at first without result ' In the second year
of the Hijra^ however,* a: small caravan was captured on
the road between Mecca -and Tayif, and a member of
the Kureish tribe was killed. Such was Mohamed's first
He was soon to gain a greater victory, the results of
which all Moslem historians have rightly regarded as
marking a new era for the religion he taught. Hearing
that a rich caravan belonging to Mecca was on its way
back from Syria, the Prophet proceeded to Badr with
300 men hoping to intercept it. News, however, reached
Mecca, and the full force of the Kureish marched out to
the rescue. The caravan meanwhile escaped by travelling
off the main route, and the Prophet, upon reaching Badr,
learned that an army of 900 Kureish was encamped in
the neighbourhood. His enemies, upon learning that
the caravan was safe, were not anxious to fight with their
fellow-tribesmen ; but Mohamed, feeling that he must
win or retreat ijn disgrace, decided to attack. The battle,
as was customary, was preceded by single combats, in